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The Great War and Modern Memory
It describes the literary responses by English participants in World War I to their experiences of combat, particularly in trench warfare. The perceived futility and insanity of this conduct became, for many gifted Englishmen of their generation, a metaphor for life. Fussell describes how the collective experience of the "Great War" was correlated with, and to some extent underlain by, an enduring shift in the aesthetic perceptions of individuals, from the tropes of Romanticism that had guided young adults before the war, to the harsher themes that came to be dominant during the war and after. Fussell's criticism crosses genre boundaries, attempting to describe how the experience of the war overwhelmed its participants and forced them to share a common atmosphere in their essays, letters home, novels, humor, and poetry. This experience, in turn, dealt a death-blow to the way they and their peers had responded to the prewar world. Fussell later described what he had found to an interviewer from the National Endowment for the Humanities :. Also, I was very interested in the Great War, as it was called then, because it was the initial twentieth-century shock to European culture.
It is a book which First World War literary scholars and historians return to obsessively, with a mixture of admiration and irritation. The admiration is for the way in which Fussell pioneered thinking about the war in terms of its impact on cultural history, rather than in terms of its military or geopolitical significance; his attention to literary detail; and the emotional intensity of his argument, both moving and sobering. The irritation flows from his narrow interpretation of the conflict; his sub-Northrop Fryean mode of literary analysis; his historical inaccuracies and generalisations; and his insistence upon combat experience as the only Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
The Great War And Modern Memory Pdf
That her endeavour is indeed fully warranted is demonstrated by the fact that when, for example, the Russian company and its companion organizations visited the United States various critics stressed their belief that its productions 'had nothing new to teach Broadway. It is about 'the British experience on the Western Front from to and some of the literary means by which it has been remembered, conventionalized, and mythologized. For instance, in the chapter called'Adversary Proceedings,' concerned with the sense of the 'enemy' and the contrast in that regard between fighting men and men behind the lines and people at home, he deals at some length with Siegfried Sassoon, a daring combat officer who wrote fierce anti-war poems during the War and, after it, returned to the subject in both fiction and autobiography. Likewise, the chapter on 'Myth, Ritual and Romance' concludes with a discussion of David Jones; the chapter on 'The Theatre ofWar' gathers in the 'caricature scenes of Robert Graves' and makes a brilliant and apt comparison with Ben Jonson Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Read or Download The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell Ebook PDF
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The river called and cried Across the twisted steel Blues on fire island Had a magic to heal Souls full of anger Sadness and despair A harbour in my heart Where love was there Well the Hotel was raised to the ground But the spirits still visit there